There are 8 levels which help us understand the meaning of who we are and what we need to do in life. Each of these levels includes the lower ones, and each of these levels is influenced by the higher levels. Some believe that we are already enlightened, although most are not aware they are enlightened, and so the higher levels have an unconscious influence. The road is not one to attain enlightenment, but to regain awareness of our enlightenment. The road follows these eight levels which are derived from the seven chakras (the sixth and seventh level really refer to the sixth chakra and the eighth level refers to the seventh chakra.)
1. THE BEING AS SELF
The first level is where the being becomes aware of themselves as a separate being. This level is concerned with satisfying our wants, desires and aversions. One image of this level is the baby that seeks only its own satisfaction. Adults who are stuck at this level are probably psychopathic. The morality of this level is to get what you want.
2. THE BEING AS INTIMATES, SEX, FAMILY (TO PROCREATE)
As a being develops it begins to take into account the need for others to help it in its existence and the need for sensual pleasure. At this level, shame appears and is the result of breaking the moral code ... the moral code here is 'Don't get caught!'
3. THE BEING AS A GROUP (PATRIOTISM) (TO BELONG)
Many enlightened beings believe this is the level of humanity at the present time (although I think that humanity is generally at the previous level!) This is the level where the being believes that it needs groups to attain its needs. So at this level, beings identify themselves by their group ... their job, their country, their religion, etc. This is the practical level of business and organization. It is the level of common sense. The being at level eight, for example, needs to come down to this level to promote its book!
Groups require laws and the following of laws and procedures is important at this level. Moral codes are developed by beings at this level. As a result of law-following, the feelings of guilt first appear at this level. Goodness is no longer the need to avoid being caught, but the need to be law-following. So whereas shame exists at the lower levels, guilt appears here as being the bad feeling we get because we have failed to follow a law (often a moral code). Moral principles are internalized so even wrong thinking can be considered wrong!
4. THE BEING AS MANKIND (HUMANISM)
This is the level of love, the heart chakra, and the being identifies itself with the whole of humanity. At this level, we think of Sister Teresa and the Dalai Lama. Where the other levels have not been followed, the being at this level may love without regard for self or other considerations and sacrifice all they have for the needy. This is the level of giving without regard for any reward. Many woman (and I suppose men too ... perhaps more so) who have skipped level three, become beings that 'love too much'. Perhaps the loving mother who buys her son a powerful sports car or powerful motorcycle or the charity that gives large amounts of money to developing countries ... all with tragic results.
5. THE BEING AS ALL LIFE FORMS
The stimulus to attain this level is often the failure of level four ... the deep realization that: 'Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for life!'
At this level the being begins to withdraw from the world of the senses and turns to the inner worlds and the knowledge of the archetypes. This is the level of being aware of the interconnections of all things, where we think of Albert Einstein, Immanuel Kant, Ludwig van Beethoven, Mikhail Gorbachev and Sigmund Freud. This is a level of synergy as opposed to analysis, where the being perceives the multiple-causes of the way things are.
Here the beings begins to view the system from the outside and observes without partisan biases. This is where the being sees the purpose of life as the uplifting of humanity through spiritual development.
The being identifies with all life forms and begins to see the workings of Nature and 'way of things'. There is contact with archetypal knowledge and the Akashic record.
This is the highest level recognized by Western society. The upper levels are generally unknown.
6. THE BEING AS THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE
At this sixth level, it is not merely humanity or even all life forms that are important, but it includes the physical universe (that is the material of our bodies, of plant and animal bodies, and the playground where we pursue our games). This is not materialism. It is the recognition that everything is dependent on the material aspect of our universe. It is love, not only of life forms, but of space, energy and matter too! Whereas earlier levels referred to causes and interrelationships of all living things, this level goes one step further and looks at the causes and interrelationships of the physical universe. This is a level of spirit.
7. THE BEING AS SPIRIT (EDUCATION, LEARNING, AESTHETICS)
This is a level of intuition where direct knowing replaces logic and reasoning. This is the level where the being identifies with spirit.
The being at this level is often a shaman or seer who can create effects that appear marvellous to those who do not have direct and intimate connections with the archetypes and Akashic record. Through the knowledge of the archetypes, there is the ability to affect consciousness directly and thereby change reality at will.
People who exhibited SOME of the qualities at this level include: the medieval physician Paracelsus; Plato, who first described archetypal realms of the mind; and, Socrates, who conversed with a prescient inner voice.
8. THE BEING AS ALL THAT IS (SPIRITS, GOD, RELIGION)
Whereas at lower levels their was the drive for oneness, at this level there is the drive for unity. Here there is a state of spacelessness and timelessness. It is a transcendence above the physical and the mental to the state of being at one with everything. It is a level that transcends the dimensions of our present existence. (There are probably higher levels than this, too).
In their Earthly form, beings at this level also experience the lower levels. In fact, this lesson was learned at level five, where the being observes the inter-connectedness of all things. At this level, the idea of one level being higher than another becomes somewhat meaningless, because they are all united. The being at this level can present itself at any of the other levels without becoming entrapped within them, and the being needs to do this to exist in the world.
To enjoy personal pleasures, such as eating, etc, they need to drop in on level one.
To enjoy sensuality, for example sex, they need to be at level two.
To be practical and earthly, for example to publish a book, they need to be at level three.
To interact with others they might drop in on level four, unconditional love, where they fill their disciples and others with the wonder of loving and of being loved without clinging.
To understand and manipulate the things in the world, they may drop in on levels five and six.
The higher levels can be viewed as harmonics of, and oppositions to the lower levels. Those things that are almost the same oppose each other more strongly than those that are quite different. So the selfishness and isolation of level one is rather like level eight in some ways. Where development is lopsided then people who are too involved with religion make a mess of their personal lives.
Similarly, level seven is a harmonic of level two. The shaman or seer seeks close relationships with the archetypes, paralleling the sensual being at level two who seeks a sex partner and other intimates.
The level six (physical universe) being parallels the being at level three (group). Those who are obsessed with material things have problems with groups. Rich countries have problems with the poor!
Level five pairs with level four. Those concerned with humanity tend to have little interest in animals and plants, and those who are into animal rights, tend to be against humanity!
The purpose of life and the nature of beings is therefore eightfold. It is a BALANCED development of the eight levels. As explained above, when there is an imbalance, then certain problems arise. Where there is development and balance, then there is a fullness of existence.